Wednesday, 7 September 2011



Sunday, 2 January 2011

Tracing the regal existence of ‘Miss Universe’

‘Miss Universe’ has been one of the most esteemed beauty contests in the world for past the 50 years. The renowned pageant, as an annual international competition, has been showcasing culture, talent and beauty with entries from more than 80 countries on the map. Organised by the ‘Miss Universe Organization’, the contest stands a rival to ‘Miss World’ and ‘Miss Earth’ crowns.

Emergence of the pageant

The prestigious contest evolved in 1951 by a California clothing company ‘Pacific Mills’. The pageant became part of ‘Kayser-Roth’ and the ‘Gulf and Western Industries’, before being taken over by ‘Donald Trump’ in 1996. The ‘Miss Universe Pageant’ amended its title from what it was previously known as - ‘Miss America Pageant’, when Yolande Betbeze, the winner of ‘Miss America 1951’ refused to pose in a swimsuit from its major sponsor, Catalina swimwear. Retaliating to this, the brand manufacturer ‘Pacific Mills’ withdrew itself from ‘Miss America’, and established the ‘Miss Universe’ and ‘Miss USA’ contests.

From 1952 to 1971, the main pageant ‘Miss Universe’ was successfully held consecutively, in the continental US. In the present scenario, MUP is held over a two-week period in every May and July, as compared to 1970s to 1990s, when the contest used to be stretched over a month long period.

Variations in the Contest Format

In the few initial years of the pageant, the semi-finalists used to be announced instantly after the preliminary competition. The arrangement was such that the runners-up and winners were announced from the short listed 15 semi-finalists, after the preliminary round. But in 1964, the top 15 was reduced to top 10, and the format incorporated a round of interview, whereby the winner and runners-up were selected from the 10 finalists.

But a year later, in 1965, the pageant adapted ‘cut to 5 finalists’ concept, in accordance to which, the semi-finalists had to compete once again in ‘evening gown and swimsuit’, post the preliminary round, to make it to the final 5.

In 1969, the format introduced ‘a final question’ concept, whereby one last question was posed to the top 5 selected contestants. But earlier this was an on-and-off feature of the pageant. While in 1990, the concept became a norm, and it was mandatory for the final contestants to answer ‘a final question’ put up to them.

The year 1990 brought a lot many variations in the competition format. Now, instead of the count reducing from 10 semi-finalists to 5, it got down to 6. Each contestant was then made to randomly select a judge to ask her a question in the finale of the contest.

Later that year, the contest underwent frequent changes, when the finalist count was reduced to 3, and after that in 1998, it increased to 5.

Surprisingly, in 2000, the interview round of the semi-finals was dropped and the contestants once again, as in the early days of the pageant, began to compete only in swimsuit and gowns.

Two years back, in 2006, Miss Universe contest settled on the announcement of 20 short-listed semi-finalists, to further compete in the swimsuit. After this round, the selected contestants were brought down to 10, those for competing in the evening gown. This round allowed the final 5 to be declared and initiated the ladies towards the final fight in the ‘final question’ or ‘interview’ round. At the end of this final stroke, the runners-up were announced and the winner was crowned by the outgoing queen.

But in 2007, the format again underwent some changes with the top 15 in the swimsuit round; thereafter the 10 selected ones moved on to the evening gown round, where 5 faced elimination. The final 5 answered the final question, allowing the judging panel to decide on the ultimate winner of the crown. Since then, till date, the trend has been on the similar lines – graceful and exciting, leaving no room for foul play.

A majestic crown to take you places

The crowned beauty is awarded a one-year contract with the Miss Universe Organization, with opportunity for going across borders to spread social awareness about the control of diseases, peace. Since the time Donald Trump took over the pageant, the winner is even awarded a Trump Tower apartment in NYC for use during her reign. Along with the main crown, special awards are also awarded to the winners in the category of the Best National Costume, Miss Photogenic, and Miss Congeniality.

Miss Universe has now turned out to be the biggest glam show, where the most beautiful women from across the world compete with each other to earn pride and honour not just for themselves, but also for their countries.

- Bhavna Khullar

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Wednesday, 25 August 2010


Miss Universe 2010, the 59th edition of the pageant, was held at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. on August 23, 2010.It was hosted by Bret Michaels and Natalie Morales.
Jimena Navarrete, Miss Mexico, was crowned Miss Universe 2010 by outgoing titlehoder Stefanía Fernández from Venezuela.

Final results Contestant

Miss Universe 2010 Mexico - Jimena Navarrete

1st Runner-up Jamaica - Yendi Phillipps

2nd Runner-up Australia - Jesinta Campbell

3rd Runner-up Ukraine - Anna Poslavska

4th Runner-up Philippines - Venus Raj

Top 10 Albania - Angela Martini
Ireland - Rozanna Purcell
South Africa - Nicole Flint
Guatemala - Jessica Scheel
Puerto Rico - Mariana Vicente

Top 15 Belgium - Cilou Annys
Colombia - Natalia Navarro
Czech Republic - Jitka Válková
France - Malika Ménard
Russia - Irina Antonenko

Final competition scores
Country Swimsuit Evening Gown
Mexico 9.265 (2) 8.913 (1)
Jamaica 9.426 (1) 8.884 (2)
Australia 8.543 (5) 8.841 (3)
Ukraine 8.333 (7) 8.743 (4)
Philippines 8.957 (3) 8.714 (5)
Albania 8.229 (T8) 8.693 (6)
Ireland 8.784 (4) 8.548 (7)
South Africa 8.229 (T8) 8.420 (8)
Guatemala 8.071 (10) 8.286 (9)
Puerto Rico 8.443 (6) 7.971 (10)
Russia 7.843 (11)
Colombia 7.643 (12)
France 7.576 (13)
Belgium 7.571 (14)
Czech Republic 7.429 (15)

Order of announcement
Top 15

1. Puerto Rico
2. Ukraine
3. Mexico
4. Belgium
5. Ireland
6. South Africa
7. France
8. Australia
9. Jamaica
10. Russia
11. Albania
12. Colombia
13. Guatemala
14. Czech Republic
15. Philippines

Top 10

1. Ireland
2. Albania
3. Philippines
4. Jamaica
5. Mexico
6. Ukraine
7. Puerto Rico
8. South Africa
9. Guatemala
10. Australia

Top 5

1. Mexico
2. Australia
3. Jamaica
4. Ukraine
5. Philippines
Special awards
Award Contestant
Miss Congeniality Australia - Jesinta Campbell

Miss Photogenic Thailand - Fonthip Watcharatrakul

Best National Costume Thailand - Fonthip Watcharatrakul

Preliminary judgesBasim Shami – President of Farouk Systems
BJ Coleman – Publicist, Journalist & Television Personality
Carlos Bremer – CEO and General Director of Value Grupo Financiero
Corinne Nicolas – President of Trump Model Management
Louis Burgdorf – Talent Producer for MSNBC's Joe Scarborough & Mika Brzezinski
Natalie Rotman – Commentator
Sadoux Kim – Television producer
Telecast judges
Chazz Palminteri – Actor and writer
Chynna Phillips – Singer and actress
Criss Angel – Illusionist and musician
Evan Lysacek – Olympic Gold Medal Figure Skater and Dancing with the Stars participant
Jane Seymour – Actress and Dancing with the Stars participant
Niki Taylor – Model
Sheila E. – Musician
Tamron Hall – MSNBC anchor
William Baldwin – Actor, producer, and writer

Historical Significance
Mexico wins Miss Universe for the second time, the first was Lupita Jones in 1991. Coincidentally, Jones was also crowned in Las Vegas.

Countries who also entered the top 15 the previous year were Albania, Australia, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Puerto Rico, and South Africa.

Jamaica, Ukraine, Albania, and Guatemala places their highest ever in the pageant.

Czech Republic placed for the fourth consecutive time.

Australia scored its third straight placement and its highest since Jennifer Hawkins's victory in 2004.

Guatemala last placed in 1984.

Ireland last placed in 1998.

Philippines last placed in 1999.

Russia and Colombia last placed in 2008

USA failed to place in the semifinals for the fourth time in pageant history.

Venezuela did not make the cut for the first time since 2006.
This is also the first time in pageant history where a country (Venezuela) has won twice in consecutive years and failed to place in the following year.

Thailand won both Miss Photogenic and Best National Costume titles, the first time a country accomplished this feat.
European delegates dominated the semifinals for the third consecutive time with 7 semi-finalists, followed by Caribbean with 2 semi-finalists.

Country Contestant- Age- Height(cm)-Height(ft) - Hometown
Albania Angela Martini 24 175 5'9" Shkoder
Angola Jurema Ferraz 25 180 5'11" Namibe
Argentina Yesica di Vincenzo 22 174 5'8" Mar del Plata
Aruba Priscilla Lee 22 180 5'11" Oranjestad
Australia Jesinta Campbell 19 178 5'10" Gold Coast
Bahamas Braneka Bassett 20 176 5'9" Freeport
Belgium Cilou Annys 19 178 5'10" Bruges
Bolivia Claudia Arce 19 173 5'8" Sucre
Botswana Tirelo Ramasedi 21 168 5'6" Gaborone
Brazil Débora Lyra 20 180 5'11" Vitória
British Virgin Islands Josefina Nunez 22 165 5'5" Road Town
Canada Elena Semikina 26 186 6'1" Toronto
China Tang Wen 18 176 5'9" Yichun
Colombia Natalia Navarro 23 179 5'10" Barranquilla
Costa Rica Marva Wright 25 180 5'11" San José
Croatia Lana Obad 22 173 5'8" Zagreb
Curacao Safira de Wit 20 181 5'11" Willemstad
Cyprus Demetra Olymbiou 22 174 5'8" Aradhippou
Czech Republic Jitka Válková 18 169 5'6" Třebíč
Denmark Ena Sandra Causevic 20 174 5'8" Sønderborg
Dominican Republic Eva Arias 25 180 5'11" Moca
Ecuador Lady Mina 24 170 5'7" Guayaquil
Egypt Donia Hamed 22 179 5'10" Cairo
El Salvador Sonia Cruz 20 173 5'8" San Salvador
Finland Viivi Pumpanen 22 167 5'6" Vantaa
France Malika Ménard 23 176 5'9" Caen
Georgia Nana Gogichaishvili 21 177 5'10" Tbilisi
Germany Kristiana Rohder 26 182 6'0" Munich
Ghana Awurama Simpson 22 180 5'11" Sekondi-Takoradi
Great Britain Tara Hoyos-Martinez 20 168 5'6" London
Greece Anna Prelevic 20 181 5'11" Athens
Guam Vanessa Torres 25 167 5'6" Dededo
Guatemala Jessica Scheel 20 170 5'7" Retalhuleu
Guyana Tamika Henry 22 171 5'7" Georgetown
Haiti Sarodj Bertin 24 175 5'9" Port-au-Prince
Honduras Kenia Martinez 26 175 5'9" Tela
Hungary Tímea Babinyecz 19 172 5'8" Szeged
India Ushoshi Sengupta 22 171 5'7" Kolkata
Indonesia Qory Sandioriva 19 173 5'8" Aceh
Ireland Rozanna Purcell 19 175 5'9" Clonmel
Israel Bat-el Jobi 22 172 5'8" Afula
Italy Jessica Cecchini 20 177 5'10" Borgosesia
Jamaica Yendi Phillipps 24 178 5'10" Kingston
Japan Maiko Itai 26 173 5'8" Ōita
Kazakhstan Assel Kuchukova 27 175 5'9" Almaty
Korea Kim Joo-ri 22 172 5'8" Seoul
Kosovo Kështjella Pepshi 23 178 5'10" Junik
Lebanon Rahaf Abdallah 22 174 5'8" Khiam
Malaysia Nadine Ann Thomas 23 169 5'6" Subang Jaya
Mauritius Dalysha Doorga 23 173 5'8" Goodlands
Mexico Jimena Navarrete 22 174 5'8" Guadalajara
Netherlands Desirée van den Berg 23 176 5'9" Santpoort
New Zealand Ria van Dyke 21 172 5'8" Auckland
Nicaragua Scharllette Allen 18 180 5'11" Bluefields
Nigeria Ngozi Odalonu 22 178 5'10" Niger
Norway Melinda Elvenes 23 172 5'8" Larvik
Panama Anyoli Abrego 22 177 5'10" Santiago de Veraguas
Paraguay Yohana Benitez 23 176 5'9" San Lorenzo
Peru Giuliana Zevallos 22 180 5'11" Loreto
Philippines Venus Raj 22 175 5'9" Bato
Poland Maria Nowakowska 23 182 6'0" Legnica
Puerto Rico Mariana Vicente 21 173 5'8" Río Grande
Romania Oana Paveluc 19 181 5'11" Braşov
Russia Irina Antonenko 18 178 5'10" Yekaterinburg
Serbia Lidija Kocić 22 180 5'11" Belgrade
Singapore Tania Lim 22 175 5'9" Singapore
Slovak Republic Anna Amenová 25 173 5'8" Bratislava
Slovenia Marika Savšek 23 175 5'9" Šmartno pri Litiji
South Africa Nicole Flint 22 173 5'8" Pretoria
Spain Adriana Reverón 24 177 5'10" Errenteria
Sri Lanka Ishanka Madurasinghe 23 174 5'8" Kegalle
Sweden Michaela Savic 19 174 5'8" Helsingborg
Switzerland Linda Fäh 22 177 5'10" Benken
Tanzania Hellen Dausen 23 168 5'6" Arusha
Thailand Fonthip Watcharatrakul 20 170 5'7" Samut Prakan
Trinidad & Tobago LaToya Woods 24 178 5'10" Couva
Turkey Gizem Memiç 20 178 5'10" Gaziantep
Ukraine Anna Poslavska 23 180 5'11" Nova Kakhovka
Uruguay Stephany Ortega 20 173 5'8" Montevideo
USA Rima Fakih 24 174 5'8" Dearborn
U.S. Virgin Islands Janeisha John 22 173 5'8" St. Croix
Venezuela Marelisa Gibson 21 178 5'10" Caracas
Zambia Alice Musukwa 22 178 5'10" Lusaka

Returning countries and territories
Haiti last competed in 1989.
British Virgin Islands last competed in 2002.
Botswana last competed in 2004.
US Virgin Islands last competed in 2007.
Denmark, Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka and Trinidad & Tobago last competed in 2008.

Guatemala – Alejandra Barillas was the original winner of Miss Universe Guatemala 2010, but she injured her left foot in an accident, preventing her from participating in the pageant. She was replaced by one of her runners-up, Jessica Schell.

Romania – Alexandra Cătălina Filip was the original winner of Miss Universe Romania 2010. The 1st Runner-up, Oana Paveluc will represent Romania in Miss Universe 2010. Filip is a professional dancer and a national champion (2008–2010) in several types of sportive dancing. The next international dancing competition where Filip and her dancing partner, Ramon Zedan, plan to participate in will be held in Korea on August 28.
Turkey – Miss Turkey Organization is sending Miss Turkey World 2010, Gizem Memiç, because their Miss Universe delegate, Serenay Sarikaya, was underage (17) at the time of her coronation.

Bulgaria – The Miss Bulgaria Organization will not send a representative to compete in Miss Universe 2010.

Cayman Islands – On September 8, 2009, it was announced that the Miss Cayman Islands 2009 contest would not take place due to lack of funding and sponsorship. Since the winner of that contest also competes in Miss World, there was no Caymanian representative to Miss World 2009 either.

Estonia – Valeri Kirss, Estonia’s national director, is selling the Eesti Miss Estonia pageant.

Namibia – Miss Namibia 2010, Odile Gertze, was crowned on July 31, 2010. Since that was only one week from the official start of Miss Universe 2010, national director Connie Maritz decided not to send the winner to Miss Universe but to Miss World 2010 and Miss Universe 2011 instead.

Vietnam – Vietnam will not have a representative this year. They have officially withdrawn from the pageant.

The following contestants previously competed at notable national and international beauty pageants:

Argentina – Yesica Di Vincenzo competed at Miss International 2008 but did not place.

Brazil – Débora Lyra competed at Top Model of the World 2008 and won.

Canada – Elena Semikina competed at Miss International 2008, but did not place.

Guatemala – Jessica Scheel, was a contestant in Miss Earth 2007.

Jamaica – Yendi Phillipps competed in Miss World 2007 and placed in the top 16 ("Beach Beauty" 1st runner-up).

Korea – Kim Joo-ri competed in Miss World 2009 and placed in the top 16 (Continental Queen of Asia & Oceania).

Peru – Giuliana Zevallos was a contestant in Miss Earth 2008.

Philippines – Venus Raj was a contestant in Miss Philippines Earth 2008 and placed as Miss Philippines Eco-Tourism (4th Runner-up).

Spain – Adriana Reverón placed in the top 8 at Miss Earth 2008.

U.S. Virgin Islands – Janeisha John represented her territory at Miss America 2008, but was unplaced.